In an attempt to bring stability to Mali a national unity government was announced on August 21, 2012. However the country remains divided after Islamists seized northern regions following the coup earlier this year.
There are an estimated 174,000 internally displaced people in Mali and over 200,000 people have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries. In Bamako 57% of IDPs are children and young teenagers (0-17 years old).
Now in the height of the lean season, the worst is yet to come for children in Mali. Estimates predict 385,000 cases of moderate acute malnutrition and 175,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition in children under-five years old in Mali in 2012 with 87% of SAM cases expected in the south of Mali.
A cholera outbreak in Gao region has to date led to 159 cases and 12 deaths in three communities.
To mount a preventative response to the cholera outbreak, and reduce the risk of cases spreading,
UNICEF has distributed supplies to treat 2,000 cases of cholera, as well as WASH kits for prevention of diarrhoea at the household level. As part of the regional UNICEF response to the cholera outbreak one diarrhoea kit was distributed to a UNICEF Field Office in Guinea Conakry near the border with Southern Mali.
Child protection issues in the north continue to be a major concern with reports of unaccompanied children, association of children with armed groups, sexual violence and victims of unexploded ordinance. There is documented evidence of 137 children associated with armed groups.
There were over 300,000 children in schools in the northern regions of Mali (Timbuktu, Kidal, and Gao) before the crisis, whose education has been affected. There are 10,000 students from northern regions in the south, 6,895 of whom are registered in schools. Other children are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries.
UNICEF works across the north with established international NGOs and is deploying additional partnerships to access vulnerable children and women. An integrated package of medical supplies, household water, education and child protection in the north has reached 141,000 most vulnerable people (see inter-agency health kits). Specific interventions, such as household hygiene promotion have reached a greater number of beneficiaries, as highlighted in the indicator tables across this report.
As of 27 August, UNICEF Mali has only received 34% of the 58 million U.S. dollars from its emergency appeal for 2012.